At this point, it almost feels like we don't need to explain to you why one of everyone's favorite annual events is having to skip a year. But for the record: due to COVID-19 and the global pandemic it has created, and specifically the alarming rise in the number of cases Japan has seen this fall, organizers of the Tokyo Auto Salon in Chiba City have decided to cancel 2021's live event, which was set to happen January 15th through the 17th. Like what the SEMA Show did with its all-online SEMA360 this year, however, TAS is planning to hold its show virtually.
Auto Salon made the announcement today, and on its website indicated they were looking out for the safety of visitors, exhibitors and related parties. It seems the Japan Medical Association issued a "Medical Emergency Declaration" warning that normal medical care may not be available due to the current influx of cases, so show runners were compelled to err on the side of caution. Ticket refunds will be available through the TAS website, and Virtual Auto Salon (as organizers have dubbed it) is scheduled to begin on the 15th, though there was no reference to what the online event would include.
To say we're disappointed doesn't quite capture how much of a bummer this news is. The show that's often been referred to as the "Japanese SEMA" has been around for some four decades and Super Street has been there for pretty much every one of the last 20 years. A sort of mecca for us (as we're sure it is for many others), Tokyo Auto Salon organizers invited yearly both the industry and the public to come celebrate its custom car festival over three days at the Makuhari Messe convention center. From it, we've consistently found amazing feature cars over the years, in addition to killer event coverage, and it's difficult to quantify exactly how hard the loss will hit, but it will be significant.
We already know 2020 can go suck an egg, what with all its postponements and cancellations, and it looks like 2021 is starting off the same way. To see what Virtual Auto Salon has up its sleeve, make sure to visit the TAS website, as well as its Facebook and Twitter accounts, around the 15th of January. If the absence afflicts you like it does us, you probably need to immerse yourself in coverage from past Auto Salons - which we've kindly included in the links below. Better luck in 2022, TAS.